Made In Chicago: Tiege Hanley

Jim Gudas
September 16, 2019 - 6:00 am

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) – In a converted industrial building a couple of blocks northwest of the United Center sits Tiege Hanley, a company that makes and sells skin-care kits for men.

CEO and co-founder Kelley Thornton says the way to get men to take care of their skin is to keep it simple and eliminate confusion.

“The problem that men have faced in entering into the skin care category is it’s extremely confusing. So, it’s all about a routine and it’s all about being uncomplicated,” Thornton said in a recent interview.

At the same time, Tiege Hanley has been doing innovative things. A co-founder suggested the idea of adding sun block to reduce men’s risk of skin cancer.

“Rob Hoxie’s a college roommate of mine. He immediately said we should add an SPF in our men’s daily moisturizer. We should help men put an SPF on, and the impetus for that was that his father died very young of melanoma,” Thornton said.

Tiege Hanley had the concept and the product. But the business began slow.

“Within 60 days we realized that other than our parents and our best friends we couldn’t sell a box of skin care to anybody,” Thornton said.

So, they turned to YouTube influencer Aaron Marino. Thornton says the company also focused on extensive customer interaction, including a weekly video blog and personal handwritten notes to new customers. It only sells its products online to maintain a direct connection to customers.

“We’re listening to what the consumers say. We’re taking their feedback on our products. We’re launching new products based on their input,” Thornton said.

In three years, Tiege Hanley went from nearly failing to worldwide success.

“We went from zero customers to having several hundred thousand customers. We have active customers in 108 countries, so we are a global brand,” Thornton said.